Following the premiere episode of Season 17 of The Bachelorette, ratings appear to have gone down compared to the last two seasons of the show.
The new season aired without Chris Harrison as former Bachelorettes Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams took over the role as host to help guide Katie Thurston on her journey to find love.
According to Fox, approximately 1.3 million people tuned in for Katie’s season, which was slightly down from the 1.8 million who tuned in to watch Matt James’ premiere episode of The Bachelor.
Both premieres were significantly lower than Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adam’s season of The Bachelorette, as that premiere had around 2 million people tune in.
While viewership may have been down slightly for The Bachelorette, ABC still brought in an impressive showing for The Good Doctor, which followed and had 3.92 million watching, showing that ABC is still a powerhouse for Monday night prime time.
With the drop in viewership for The Bachelorette, many fans are left wondering if Chris Harrison’s departure had anything to do with it. At the time the show aired, Bachelor Nation was not sure when Chris would make a comeback to the series but just yesterday, he announced that his time away would be permanent as he was moving on from the series entirely.
Chris Harrison announces permanent departure from The Bachelor franchise
In an Instagram post, Chris shared that he would no longer be associated with The Bachelor franchise after 19 years of hosting the various shows and spinoffs.
His touching post thanked Bachelor Nation for all of the memories they were able to make together.
He noted that his time as host was “truly incredible” but he said he was “excited to start a new chapter.”
Chris has made several close friendships throughout the franchise from contestants to leads of the various shows and many of them turned up to show their support for him as he made his exit.
Along with Bachelor Nation alumni, many fans reached out to share that they would no longer be watching the franchise because it just wouldn’t be the same without him.
Bachelor Nation appears to be torn following the racism controversy as many have stepped up in support of Chris and felt he should have had the opportunity to learn from his mistakes and have a second chance. Others felt that his apologies were disingenuous and that his words were too offensive to forget about.
Chris is reportedly being given an eight-figure payout to walk away quietly according to Deadline. The settlement allegedly came after Chris’s lawyer threatened to “expose” things that had gone on behind the scenes if Chris wasn’t appropriately compensated.
The Bachelorette fans loved seeing Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe as hosts
While Chris’s departure could have something to do with the lower premiere ratings since many fans of the show vowed to stop watching if he wasn’t there, Bachelor Nation appeared to love seeing Tayshia and Kaitlyn as hosts of the show.
Several fans took to social media to share their opinions and the majority felt that the female presence added a refreshing energy that was needed on the show.
Many commented on how nice it was to see women supporting women, and the dynamic between Katie and the two female hosts was something that couldn’t be recreated if the host was a man.
At this time, it appears that Tayshia and Kaitlyn’s roles as host are temporary and it’s unknown which direction the franchise will take moving forward.
It’s already been reported that Bachelor in Paradise could have various hosts who will rotate in and out throughout the season. Some of those hosts include celebrity comedians and Bachelor alumni who are sure to bring an interesting twist to the show.
The future of the Bachelor franchise continues to look bright despite the various changes that have occurred. The trailer for Katie’s season hints at a lot of drama, which will hopefully help bring in higher ratings for the upcoming episodes.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.